Corman/Price season in the Portobello Road

6th August 1971, Corman/Price season in the Portobello Road, ‘Kensington Post’ page 4

Film special by Mary Lear

REFLECTING on the torrent of films which Roger Corman made in the late 1950s, one cannot help but notice the dominant part played by women in his films.


The complete retrospective would, perhaps, more than amplify the suggestion that even the films in the Poe cycle are fundamentally concerned with the power exerted by a woman – dead or alive — over the hapless, child-like central character.

Not that a single label could so easily be attached to a man who has covered quite so much ground.

Corman took on horror films, science-fiction,”problem” pictures, racing pictures, beach party pictures, rock films and even such conventional subjects as gangster and war movies.

Corman will probably be best remembered for his horror films. And Vincent Price — the actor who created the central roles in so many of them – will always be associated with them.

Recognising this, the Electric Cinema, Portobello Road. is running a Carman/Price Season, which opens tonight with TALES OF TERROR.

TALES OF TERROR (tonight–Thursday—at 7 and 11 p.m., Friday at 9 p.m.). Three Poe stories and an all-star cast went to make this fine 1961 movie. Starring Vincent Price with Basil Rathbone and Peter Lorre, it is one of the most beautiful of Carman’s period pieces.

THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Saturday at 3 and 7 p.m., Sunday at 5 and 9 p.m.). Possibly the best of Corman’s Poe adaptations, this 1964 British movie starring Vincent Price, Hazel Court and Jane Asher, is an elegant, intelligent account of the fate of Prince Prospero when Death appears at a ball in his castle, disguised as a plague victim.

THE TERROR (Monday at 9 p.m., Tuesday at 7p.m.). Corman directs Karloff and Jack Nicholson in a horrific vision of the old world sinking into chaos. This 1962 movie was made in three days.

THE HAUNTED PALACE (Wednesday at 7 and 11 p.m., Thursday next at 9p.m.). A flawless 1963 movie starring Price with Debra Paget and Lon Chaney Jr. On the surface, it’s a nutty yarn about a green, four-armed sexhungry Thing which Vince keeps in his cellar. But on another level, the film is an allegory about the deathwish, dread of disfigurement and guilt transference.

THE STRANGER (Wednesday at 9p.m., Thursday next at 7p.m.). Corman’s only independent production, it is about a fascist rabble-rouser in a newly integrated Southern town.

[The season at the Electric Cinema wasn’t Vincent Price’s only link to the Portobello Road, as you can read here…]

13th August 1971, More of Corman, Price, ‘Kensington Post’ page 35

THE CORMAN/PRICE SEASON at the Electric Cinema Club, Portobello Road, continues this week with the following films:

THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES. Corman/Price Season it the Electric. Friday at 7, Saturday at 3 and 7. Ray Milland experiments on himself to extend the effective range of his eyesight, but the results are uncontrollable. This 1963 movie by Roger Corman, starring Milland with John Hoyt, is neatly conceived, has some amusing twists, and produces a quite extraordinary climax. A concise and confident film made in 1963, it carries not an ounce of surplus weight.

THE STRANGER. Tonight (Thursday) at 7. Also known as THE INTRUDER. Corman’s only independent production was a film he felt he had to make. The story of a fascist rabble-rouser who pursues his nasty vocation in a newly-integrated Southern town, it shows how the old society was destroyed and how the new one is invented. Sometimes frightening to watch.

THE HAUNTED PALACE. Today (Thursday) at 9. A flawless Corman film – on the surface, a nutty yarn about a green, four-armed, sex-hungry Thing in Vincent Price’s cellar, but really a contemporary allegory which deals with such diseases as the deathwish dread of disfigurement, guilt transference and atonement, and the search for identity.